Updated: Dec 20, 2021
We have all heard of health monitoring, but what exactly is it? and when do we
go about conducting health monitoring?
What is Health Monitoring?
Health monitoring means monitoring a person to identify any changes in his or her health status, because of exposure to certain health hazards arising from the conduct of the business or undertaking.
Health monitoring can tell us if control measures are effectively working and can detect early signs of ill-health or disease.
Examples of health monitoring include:
• Spirometry testing to detect early
changes in lung function
• Audiometric testing to detect early
It is recommended that pre-employment
checks, annual checks and end of
employment checks are completed.
What if Multiple PCBU’s are Involved?
In some businesses multiple PCBU’s may have a duty to protect the health of the
same worker (overlapping duties) If this is the case, the PCBU’s must work together
to all meet their monitoring duties.
In most cases a PCBU commissions the monitoring by an occupational health
practitioner, and splits the invoice with other PCBU’s unless they have agreed
The business must inform all relevant people about the health monitoring
requirements. Relevant people include; worker, contractor or others working with the
health hazard. These people must be informed prior to working with the hazard.
Who Receives the Reports?
A copy of the report must be given to all PCBU’s with overlapping duties, the worker,
Workers are encouraged to provide a copy to their personal GP.
Regulators must be given a report when it contains advice that the worker may have
contracted a disease or illness, or suffered an injury as a result of carrying out the
work or recommends remedial measures. Regulators could be WorkSafe or your
industry could have a designated agency (see WorkSafe website for more info)
Records must be kept on file for: 40 years - Asbestos related work
30 years - All other monitoring
Workers must be given a copy of these records after each health monitoring
appointment, when they leave a company or when a business closes / winds up.
When is health monitoring required?
Health Monitoring is important to implement if workers are carrying out
ongoing work using:
• A substance that is hazardous to the worker’s health or there is a serious risk to the worker’s health because of that substance.
• Worker is carrying out licensed asbestos work and is at risk to exposure to asbestos
(also see Approved Code of Practice Management and Removal of Asbestos).
• Worker is carrying out noisy work that is a serious risk to the worker’s health.
• If workers use hearing protection, dust masks or eye protection as part of their job, they require health monitoring.
• Construction workers who are working with wood dust, concrete dust and working with noisy machinery daily, could require health monitoring.
• Demolition workers who remove asbestos could require health monitoring.
• Factory workers who work alongside noisy machinery and are working with chemicals could require health monitoring
Reviewing Test Results
PCBU’s must review the test results and reports, and if necessary revise the control measures in place, if the health monitoring report contains:
• Test results that indicate that the worker has been exposed to a substance hazardous to their health at a concentration that may have caused harm and has an elevated level of that substance or its metabolites in their body.
• Advice that test results indicate that the worker may have contracted a disease or an illness, or suffered an injury as a result of carrying out work that involves a health hazard that triggered the requirement for health monitoring.
• Recommendation that the PCBU take remedial measures.